THE WEAK AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Going into today’s games, the Red Sox are in last place in the American League East, with a 22-29 record, four games behind the Yankees and Rays who are tied for first. The Yankees and Rays are each one game over .500 with records of 26 wins and 25 losses.

The leaders in the other two divisions of the American League, the Minnesota Twins, in the Central, at 30-19, and the Houston Astros, in the West, at 31-20, are both 11 games over .500.

I have gotten a lot of flak lately because I keep insisting that the Red Sox are going to win the American League East. How can I imagine that the Sox can pull that off, particularly after the road trip they just had when they lost six out of seven games to the Twins and Rangers, while being outscored 35 to 19, and limped home in last place?

The biggest reason I feel that the Sox will win the Eastern Division is not that the Sox are so strong, although I feel they are much better than they have shown so far, but because the rest of the division is so weak.

Beginning the month of June, Eastern Division teams have won only 36 while losing 48 of games played against teams from the Western and Central Division. Against teams from the National League, the Eastern Division teams have won just 11 while losing 13. Against teams from outside the division overall, Eastern Division teams are 47-61. This compares with Central Division teams who are 63-43 against teams outside the division and National League teams and Western Division teams who are 61-60.

Not one of the five teams in the Eastern Division has a winning record against teams from outside the division and the National League. Only one, Baltimore, has a winning record, 7-5, against America League teams outside the Division.

So far, what have I proven? To date, American League East teams have not done as well as teams from the other divisions in games outside their division. If you believe, as I do, that the Red Sox are much better than they have shown so far, the fact that the Eastern Division is so much weaker than it has been in the past could work to the Red Sox advantage in the rest of the season.

As I always say, it’s a long, 162 game, season and anything can happen but once that season is over and the playoffs begin, it’s anybody’s ball game. Don’t count those Red Sox out.

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